About this project
Back in 2012 when we formed Hundred Million, we produced a small run of Graphic Design-based Playing Cards based on the CMYK print technique. Initially they were a stunt to try and get our name into some graphic design press - and splashed in glorious full-colour across packaging blogs. This worked, and we moved onto other projects and 'proper' runs of products for retail...
We never really got over our first project though! His memory lives on and we often get emails about our graphic design gambling work. So we'd like to rouse the Kickstarter collective once again and hope we can get enough support from designers and people-who-know-designers to be able to fund a full production run of our first project! Even if it is 2 years later...
CMYK Playing Cards were born from the happy realisation in our studio that the maths fits! A traditional deck of playing cards consists of 4 suits with 10 cards (not including face cards). All we had to do was switch the suits for colours of ink used in printed media (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) and swap the numbers on each card for a percentage of ink on the surface. The cards are just as useful as traditional printed styles, AND perhaps most importantly, all niche and only understood by people who are in our little design world. We've tried explaining the cards to people outside the industry and were met with almost perfect poker face expressions. Our favourite kinds of products are the weird little niche things that only certain demographics (pun) will understand, and while that might not make brilliant business sense; it does seem to attract some of the most sincere people we have met.
We combined the opacities of ink with a strict anti-design rule. The only decoration would be made from the kinds of crop marks and registration bleeds usually never seen in the post-production world, and the various shapes, patterns and rules that never make it into a finished piece of printed media where given centre stage.
Made from the finest German black-core paper, with a genuine playing card linen finish, the cards are poker spec at 63 x 88m and include a uniform back face design and matte laminated card tuck box.
We have some wonderful stretch goals in mind to push this project beyond just being another playing card goal, and we believe the people who understand this project will really enjoy owning such a design-led product.
**UPDATE*** (28 JANUARY)
Based on suggestions from backers we have adapted our original artwork very slightly, to improve gameplay and make the product nicer. See images below:
1. HUNDRED MILLION logo removed from the back of
each card.2.Jokers adapted to include as much fun as I could bear. Also made different so you can tell the difference between each joker. 3. Face cards - added a diagonal line which gets thicker. Jack 0.5pt, Queen 1.5pt, King 2.5pt - this will enable people to tell the difference quickly and separate them from the 100% card - and also reflects the traditional layout of a face card, as minimally as possible.
**Giant THANK YOU to The super-talented Kenneth Aidan Foo for his video flicking our playing cards about. We are forever in your debt (like any good gamblers).**
Risks and challenges
Risks and challenges we have faced have so far centred around the facts. With a product so focussed on the technical and the proof - it was vital not to mess up any overprints or even have slightly the wrong colour; Pure cyan, magenta, yellow and black sound easy to achieve, but the reality of getting the registration correct on so many opacities of so many colours was much more difficult. We spent time finding a factory that could consistently re-produce exact percentages of ink and keep the small print-design details that would typically be ironed out.
One of our biggest obstacles (as always in a project like this) was logic! Though the cards function just the same as a normal deck, we were concerned that some of the lower opacities in the Yellow suit in particular; could be difficult to read. We experimented with adapting the print, using a black stroke around the numbers, drop shadows, patterns to make the number of the cards more prominent - but they all looked upsetting, and went against the purity of the point. In the end we decided to let the whole flavour of the 20% opacities speak for the card, rather than just the number in the corner. So users become accustomed to which density of ink is which number, in a much more instinctive way.
Another challenge has been our previous project, we ran a Sugar Skull Spoon (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hundredmillion/sugar-skull-spoon) funding period in late 2013, and the reward fulfilment management overlapped this work. It was a lot difficult to manage both the reward procedure for the previous piece, and the planning and pricing and supplying of this project, but we have endeavoured to not let one affect the other, and we believe this is a challenge we can meet effectively.
I am confident we have chosen a manufacturer more than capable of delivering this finished product at a quality we are happy with, and are trying to finalise stretch goals from our other suppliers - the usual pitfalls lie ahead of us for those and we promise to keep you informed as they occur, but without giving away too much of our surprise until it is time!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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